Two of Kent County’s newest event venues are ready to help you plan and host your next event.
Benvenuto Restaurant, in downtown Milford, features sultry lighting and a well-crafted Tuscan-inspired menu. The restaurant hosts private weddings, receptions, anniversary parties and more for up to 100 people. However, the owner, Lisa Johnson, has a larger event space, just southwest of the restaurant, on Haven Lake Avenue.
For 10 years Johnson hosted nonprofit events for free at the Haven Lake property for up to 500 people. In 2016, she officially launched Benvenuto at Sunset Cove as a business. From Memorial Day weekend through early fall, the property hosts fundraising events, weddings, parties and more where guests get the resort treatment, complete with large palm trees.
“Benvenuto means ‘welcome’ in Italian, so that’s why we chose the name,” Johnson says.
The success of these events is what led to Benvenuto the restaurant. Johnson opened the restaurant in in February 2020. It had to abruptly close its doors in March due to the pandemic.
However, in June, new guidelines were released, allowing restaurants to reopen at 25 percent capacity with social distancing. Benvenuto’s total capacity, according to the fire marshal, is 338. While Johnson had previously worried about the large size of the building, during the pandemic it was a godsend because they were able to serve 85 guests at a time. “It was a huge blessing,” she says. “We also could seat guests on our outside patio.”
Inside Benvenuto, diners are seated in one of four dining areas; all decorated in the spirit of Tuscany and representing towns of Lucca, Livorno, Firenze or Bolgheri.
In the open-air kitchen, Chef Jesus Valentino Gordiany is bringing Tuscany to life with a menu that is both traditional, yet approachable.
This means the cioppino will be served over linguine, not hard Italian bread as it would be in Tuscany.
Other menu favorites include crab cakes, lobster tail stuffed with crab and Creekstone Farm premium-cut steaks.
There’s plenty of olive oil, Prosciutto di Parma and Pecorino, all imported from Italy, to enjoy. Buon appetito!
249 ME Front Street, Milford
3 Haven Lake Avenue, Milford
Evergreen Farms, near Cheswold, is a “a lifelong passion project,” says Maggie Haass, who runs it with her husband, Jordan. Her family has a history of service, going back to 1955 when they opened Haass Family Butcher, near Dover, and developed a reputation for catering.
“We knew there was a need for a place like this. We weren’t quite ready, but this property was perfect,” she says.
Evergreen is a 22-acre Christmas tree farm, with 1,000 future Christmas trees adding to the ambiance of the “rustic and elegant” barn, pond (with waterfall and dock), pavilion and multiple outdoor areas. A 3,000-square-foot house can be rented for day-of bridal party preparations, and as accommodations before and after events.
Evergreen has hosted weddings, baby showers, graduation parties, corporate events, awards ceremonies and other gatherings of up to 250 people, says Haass, noting that
2826 Seven Hickories Road, Dover